Lithia quarterly earnings drop on inventory costs


DETROIT, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Car dealership group Lithia Motors Inc. on Tuesday posted lower quarterly earnings because of the cost of financing higher inventory levels. Lithia posted third-quarter net earnings of $12.7 million, or 63 cents per share, down from $17.6 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. The Medford, Oregon-based company forecast earnings per share from continuing operations of between $1.90 to $2.10 for 2007.

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